It was with great anticipation that I entered The Scotsman hotel to review their spa facilities. I was booked in for an Aveda Stress Fix Massage (60 mins, £80) and was looking forward to trying out the stainless steel pool, sauna and arctic shower etc afterwards. 

I wasn’t immediately impressed with the decor of the reception area and waiting lounge (nor the relaxation room). It was basic and almost clinical- not what I have come to expect from a luxury spa. The swimming pool, however, looked stunning; but it, and the sauna, tepidarium, arctic shower and tropical shower i.e. everything except the gym and the treatment rooms were closed ‘for maintenance’. 

The massage was one of Aveda’s signature treatments, and whilst it and my therapist were great, there are plenty of other Aveda spas with more relaxing surroundings (and friendlier reception staff) that I would choose to go to instead. A relaxing treatment at a spa is an all-encompassing experience- the surroundings and the warmth of staff are just as important as the mechanics of the treatment itself, and The Scotsman just didn’t cut it.

So, read this review of the Aveda Stress Fix Massage on its own merit. I’ll be getting it again…but somewhere else.

Once I was settled in the treatment room, with my excellent therapist, and lay face down on the warm and comfortable massage table, I really enjoyed the next hour.

The Stress Fix Massage is a mixture of Swedish massage techniques and deep-tissue massage, using an Aveda essential oil blend of Lavender, Lavandin and Clary Sage (for relaxation, calm and clarity of mind). My therapist targeted my particular tension areas (head, neck and shoulders) plus working my back and performing reflexology on my feet. It was very stress-relieving and was comprised of all my favourite scents. I was encouraged to breath in the oils and this, along with the Hawaiian beach spa music, nearly sent me off to sleep.


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By Laura Pearson-Smith